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Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: His Complete Writings and Beyond

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Showing How the Opinions of Physicians Operate on the People

No one knows the mischief or the misery that physicians of all kinds make by their opinions, and this never will be known till man learns that his belief makes his trouble. For instance, a person feels a slight disturbance at the pit of the stomach. Ignorant of its cause, he applies to a physician. Here comes the trouble. The physician assumes a false character. His practice makes him either a simpleton or a knave, for if honest he would know that he could not tell anything about the patient. If he were blind he could not even tell that the patient was sick, so that all his knowledge is gathered from observation and questioning. Therefore he is doctor only in name. He dare not risk his reputation by sitting down by the patient and telling his feelings as I do. Therefore he knows he is acting the part of a hypocrite. The patient is in the hands of a deceiver whose business it is to deceive him into some belief that happens to occur to him. At this time the physician stands to the patient like a tailor ready to fit him a garment. If rich he will persuade him he has the spinal complaint, or bronchitis, or some other disease that fits the patient's fears. If very poor, and there is no chance for a speculation, he will fit an old pair of worn-out lungs onto him, just enough to keep him breathing a short time. This is the way the regular faculty humbugs the people. Now when the people are educated to understand that what they believe they will create, they will cease believing what the medical men say and try to account for their feelings in some more rational way.

I know that a belief in any disease will create a chemical change in the mind, and that a person will create a phenomenon corresponding to the symptoms. This creation is named disease, according to the author. The idea disease has no effect on a person who has no fear of it. The small pox, for instance, produces no effect on a person who has had it, or has had the varioloid, or has been vaccinated; but on another it is not so. The doctor can produce a chemical change by his talk. It makes no difference what he says. A phenomenon will follow to which he can give a name to suit his convenience.

For instance, a person gets into an excited, heated state and a doctor is called. He gives medicine which affects the patient and he feels better. That then was what the patient needed and the doctor has the credit. If the patient grows worse, the medicine makes him sick; the doctor says he has the symptoms of a fever, while in reality he himself has been the cause of nine-tenths of the trouble. Give men the knowledge of one great truth, that man is constituted of two different principles: wisdom which is seen in science and error which is seen in matter and in opinions. The latter is governed by no principle known to man but is simply the action of cause and effect. If wisdom is the cause it goes with the effect, but man who sees only the phenomenon puts wisdom into it, for the cause is never seen. Wisdom is always the real cause. To the natural man this is a mystery and it is not taken into account.

I will illustrate it. Take the small pox. The first sensation upon the patient contains neither opinion, happiness nor misery, but it is like a breath of air blown upon your face. The cause was one of the natural results of motion which might be traced back through many changes containing no more harm than any breeze that reaches man at any hour, but it gives a start to the mind like the fall of a weight. This shock, although containing no intelligence, disturbs the senses which is the real man. I will drop this illustration here and undertake to describe the senses or the real man and separate them from what seems to be the man.

The senses are all that there is of a man. Therefore when he changes his senses, it is necessary to know what he gains or loses by the change and also what he embraces. To suppose a man has but five or seven senses is as absurd as to suppose that he has but a certain number of ideas. His senses are himself, what he knows and what he thinks he knows. Paul divides man into two identities: wisdom or what could be proved by a science, and knowledge or what man believes to be true. So when a man says he thinks he knows or believes he knows, it is sure that he does not know as he should. But if he can prove his knowledge by science, then his science is known to him.

A man's senses embrace these two characters, which are natural opponents, to both of which life has been attached. The scientific man sees and knows himself, and he also sees and knows his opponent, but the man of opinion can only see the scientific man in a mystery. As wisdom advances in man, the effect is to destroy the senses which are attached to knowledge. When knowledge overbalances a man's wisdom, his error reigns, but if wisdom is in the ascendency his knowledge becomes subject to his wisdom. In mathematics, chemistry and all the arts and sciences that can be demonstrated, knowledge submits to wisdom, but that part of man's senses attached to knowledge that is not subject to science is in the ascendency in religion, disease, and politics. These are false sciences based on opinions. They are the same that Jesus denounced as false prophets, evil and blind guides who deceive the people. These errors embrace that part of men that believes in sickness, death, another world, and all kinds of superstition. They beget tyranny and selfishness in man, and slavery and democracy in nations. It is the mission of science to destroy these, and science will be developed till they are destroyed.

Therefore when man's belief in these opinions is at an end, his senses will seem to be annihilated, but in reality he will be like the young eagle which has burst its shell and soars aloft on the wings of wisdom, where he looks down upon the earth and sees the natural man crawling like a reptile, waiting to devour the child of science as soon as it is born.

Every development of wisdom, whether applied to creeping things or to the element of freedom, is a child of God. Concealed in the egg of slavery, wisdom is kept warm by the heat of discussion, but now it has broken its shell and assumed a character and the enemies of freedom, like those of Christ, stand ready to devour it as soon as it is born. But the mother of freedom will receive the child to its bosom and will flee into the wilderness till the time arrives when the senses of man will be so changed that slavery will be chained to the lowest grade of brutality and there in the wilderness it will die and be forgotten. The error of disease will go through a similar revolution, for it has been hatched by the church, kept concealed by the medical faculty, while their absurd opinions are the very food that has fed the child of science whose heel shall bruise the head of the serpent, disease. These two characters, science and error are separate and yet they act together and always will till truth reigns over all the dominions of opinion. They are embraced in every man and their separation was the science that Jesus taught. To understand the separation is eternal life in Science.

Jesus came into the world of error, not into Science, for he was there with Wisdom. All science was with Wisdom, but when it comes to the world it comes as Jesus did. It first comes to the educated but they, having no light to distinguish between truth and error, cannot receive it. So it turns to that class which has no prejudices, and here in the wilderness it develops itself until it has attained its growth and then it comes forth. Then commences the war between the educated who are ignorant of the truth and the science. While science is growing in the minds of the people, its opponents are eating and drinking, gloating over their spoils, till the tide of popular opinion sweeps away their foundation and they never seem to realize their danger till their house falls over their heads. This has been the case with the Democratic house; while they still hold to the idea that slavery will be tolerated, the thunder of freedom is shaking the temple to its foundation, and they hide themselves in the crevices of their belief, claiming, “I was always opposed to the extension of slavery, but the Constitution must not be violated.” That is, you must not break the egg by the heat of discussion and let out the bird of liberty, for if you do, democracy is dead.

The medical faculty reasons in the same way. “Do not destroy the medical constitution,” they say, “for you will let in a swarm of quacks that will get the world in a horrid state. The regular physician will have no standing and sickness and death will triumph over the land.” The ministers also exclaim, “Do not touch the divine institution, for religion is all that keeps the world from going to destruction.” Wisdom replies, “I will laugh at your fears, and I will pour out light like wrath and cut you off from the face of the earth and give the earth (or mind) to a more enlightened people who will obey the laws of science and teach others to do the same, and you shall be cast into everlasting misery.” This is progression and it is the religion of Jesus. It is the stone of science that the builders of religion rejected. It is the star that guided the wise men to the only true God. Its body is wisdom, its blood is its life and unless you eat it and drink it, you have no life in you. Happy is he who, when a cloud of disease comes, for the Lord is always in clouds of error, can say, I fear not, fear hath torment and perfect wisdom casteth out fear. He will rise from the clouds and meet Christ above the opinions of man. Then when the science comes you will not be harmed.

I wish to make you understand these two characters, science and opinions. Give to each an identity like a man and separate one from the other, and then see which you follow; for you must follow one. You cannot serve both at the same time. If you serve science you are in your wisdom and know it. If you serve opinion, you have no wisdom but your life is in a belief that can be destroyed. So you will live all your life subject to bondage through fear of death. But if you have passed through death or opinions to the life of science, death will have no power over you. Disease is death and the belief is the fear; therefore if death is destroyed the fear is gone. It becomes us then to search into the causes of the phenomenon called disease and find if it is not an image of our own make. The Jewish people were making all sorts of false beliefs that tormented them. So God through Moses says, “Thou shall make no graven images” to represent any false idea which they had been taught, nor worship any superstition, for truth was jealous of error. It always condemns our error and rewards our scientific acts.

Disease was conceived in priestcraft and brought forth in the iniquity of the medical faculty. The priests prophesied falsely and the doctors flourished by their lies, and the people love to have it so. Then the question arises, What can you do to prevent it? I say, repent all, and be baptized in the Science that will wash away your sins and diseases with your belief. Come out from the world of opinion; and when a doctor says you have so and so, make him prove it.

July 16, 1864

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